If you’re planning a trip to Carrabelle, we certainly understand why. This picturesque coastal community is home to pristine beaches and prolific fishing. Known as the Florida Panhandle’s Gateway to the Gulf, Carrabelle is every outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
While Carrabelle is probably most famous for its sugar sand beaches, there are countless other things to see and do while you’re here. Whether you’re bringing the kids down for a family-friendly summer vacation or you’re planning ahead for a quiet fall getaway, be sure to add these seven awesome activities to your “must-do in Carrabelle” list:
#1. Climb Crooked River Lighthouse.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this majestic restored lighthouse reflects Franklin County’s long-standing coastal history. For nearly a century, the Crooked River Lighthouse stood as a guiding light for ships and fishermen navigating the treacherous pass between Dog and St. George Islands. Today, the 103-foot tall lighthouse stands on the mainland, where the light was originally built in 1895.
Swing by the Keeper’s House to check out the lighthouse museum and gift shop. Every Wednesday through Sunday afternoon, visitors have an opportunity to climb to the top of the lighthouse for breathtaking views. The Crooked River Lighthouse also hosts special sunset climbs on full moon evenings. Check our Calendar of Events for a list of upcoming moon climbs.
#2. Snap a photo at the World’s Smallest Police Station.
Located at 105 St. James Avenue, the World’s Smallest Police Station is a must-see during your visit. In the early 1960s, Carrabelle’s police phone was located in a call box bolted to a building at the corner of Hwy. 98 and Tallahassee Street. This unique landmark has been featured on the television shows Real People, Ripley’s Believe It or Not and the Today Show. Stop by the station to take a gander and snap a photo.
#3. Discover Carrabelle’s fascinating military history at Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum.
If you’re a military history buff or just a patriotic American, don’t miss the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum. Located across the street from Carrabelle Beach, the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum was established to honor and preserve the heritage of the men and women who trained at the camp during WWII.
Established in 1942, the facility was used exclusively to train Infantry Divisions and their support units in amphibious operations by U. S. Army Engineer Special Brigades [ESB]. After receiving amphibious training at this facility, three infantry divisions and two special brigades confronted tyranny both in Europe and the Pacific. Before closing in June 1946, the camp trained more than a quarter of a million men. Admission to the museum is free!
#4. Book a fishing charter.
Want to get hooked on the Forgotten Coast? Carrabelle is well-known for its productive inshore and offshore fishing. If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable angling adventure, it’s time to turn to the pros. When you book a charter with one of these experienced fishing guides, you’re guaranteed to catch a boatload of fish.
#5. Pedal through town.
One of the best ways to explore this charming coastal community is by bicycle. Cruise down Carrabelle’s Marine Street to enjoy gorgeous views and gentle breezes off Crooked River. Pedal down the paved path from Carrabelle Beach to get a closer look at the Crooked River Lighthouse.
If you prefer road cycling, head down State Road 30A (Gulf Ave) in east Carrabelle to ride in shade of magnificent oak canopies. This roadway, which is part of the Big Bend Scenic Byway, runs along the Bay and connects to Hwy 98 just outside of the Carrabelle city limit.
No bike? No problem! Stop by Gunner Pontoon Rentals to rent a bike for the day, weekend or your entire visit.
#6. Enjoy the nightlife.
If you’re hankering for an evening out on the town, you’re in luck. Carrabelle may be quiet and laidback, but there’s still plenty of nightlife here. One of the local “open-late” favorites is Fathoms Steam & Raw Bar, which offers waterfront dining with stunning views of the Carrabelle River, delicious steamed oysters and live weekend entertainment.
#7. Go on a paddling adventure.
With hundreds of miles rivers, waterways and coastal shallows to explore by paddleboard or kayak, Florida’s Forgotten Coast is paddling paradise! If you want to plan an extraordinary guided paddling tour, look no further than La Lutra. Located at the “gates” of Tate’s Hell Swamp in Carrabelle, these certified green guides offer black-water adventures, electric canoe excursions and other guided excursions. Sign up for a half or full day tour to explore one of the most bio-diverse ecosystems in the world.
Ready to experience these awesome activities and countless other adventures in beautiful Carrabelle? Book your vacation today at Places to Stay!